This year, we, Katja and Nick, have been married for 15 years. We normally celebrate together with our family, but this time, it turned out differently.
At the start of the week, we received news at the Helimission office that a pastor’s wife was having trouble with one of her eyes. She had already experienced this before and it caused her to lose her sight in one eye. It was urgent that something be undertaken immediately to prevent her from also losing sight in the other eye, which would be disastrous–not only for herself, but for her four children as well, the youngest who is only two years old.
As I was the only pilot on base at that time, I decided to arrange our wedding anniversary a bit differently. I still had a free seat in the helicopter and checked if Katja could accompany me on this flight. And so we spent our 15th wedding anniversary on a mission in the western part of the country. We fetched Adeline, the patient, and her children, so that we could fly her to the capital for further eye examinations and to consult with a specialist.
It was a special event for Katja to experience a medevac flight like this firsthand, and to see what it is like to land in a bush village as a “Vazaha” (white person) and be surrounded and overwhelmed by the excited children. What has become so normal for me was a completely different experience for Katja. However, it was also a good experience for her to get to know Madagascar from a different side. We will certainly hold fond memories of this special wedding anniversary for a long time.